Glossier: A Product-by-Product Review.

Since 10th grade, I have wanted to master the whole "no-makeup-makeup" thing. This was after a long period of blue eyeshadow, concealer two shades too dark and enough eyeliner for a Christina Aguilera video. But having the natural, dewy, glowy look requires two things: 1) good skin, and 2) good product. I'm still working on the better skin thing, but I have found the second necessity, the holy grail of skincare and makeup: Glossier. 

I am always initally skeptical of new beauty brands. Throughout our lives, we are constantly trying out new products, figuring out what works and what doesn't, rarely finding the latter. So when I found Glossier, I was skeptical, but drawn in by their girl power branding, bomb azz packaging (every order comes with stickers and an ultra-chic pink pouch) and the promise of a beautiful, healthy and natural look. I gradually tried product after product, each a bigger success than the last. Based off my experiences, I've compiled a go-to guide* for all things Glossier:

*This post is not an ad, I've got no skin in the game here (excuse the pun). Just want to share/shout from the rooftops how much this brand and these products have changed my life, and these are all honest reviews.

Priming Moisturizer

This was my Glossier initation, and it's still my absolute favorite, my skin can no longer live without it. It IMMEDIATLEY gives you a dewy, glowy finish that's great on it's own, or the perfect base for makeup. When I apply makeup without it, I can see and feel the difference. It's just not as "smooth", not as even. This moisturizer has actually made it possible for me to go out without foundation, because it's so build-able. If I'm really feeling myself, I'll mix it with a bit of highlighter and be dewy AF (Now more J.LO, less Xtina). 

Haloscope

Ever wonder how models and celebs look so glowy, like angels with lots of money and good stylists? Now I'm giving them a run for their money- at least in the glowy angel department. I have tried over 1000000 highlighters (exact estimate), finding most to be too glittery, too shiny, irritating, etc. Haloscope is the answer to our prayers. The application is absolutely foolproof, and the dewiness you achieve is UNREAL. Quartz is perfection for a straight up dewy goodness, while Topaz has been my go-to for that coveted sun-kissed glow. No glitter, all glow, all good. 

                                                          Quartz on top, Topaz below. 

                                                         Quartz on top, Topaz below. 

Moisturizing Moon Mask

One word: YAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSS. When I say this is life and skin changing, I mean it. Nothing ever, EVER has made my skin look so bright, tight (someone even asked me if I had botox once. Nah girl!!! Glossier!!), and healthy. I do this mask in the morning before work about 3 times a week, after a rough day, it's even cured hangovers (along with a #6 at Jimmy Johns and my Harry Potter DVD collection). This mask is the defintion of treat yo' self, it's the skincare equivilant of an espresso. If you buy nothing else, you need this- I promise.

                                       Moon Mask/Mega Greens Mask pictured at top

                                       Moon Mask/Mega Greens Mask pictured at top

Boy Brow

I've talked about this before, and the point is I don't care if you have no brows or the bushiest on the block, your brows are not living their best life until they have this. When I thank God for all my blessings at night, this is near the top. I have girlfriends with little-to-no brow material to work with, and every single one has texted me with countless emojis, usually that Salsa dancing girl followed by multiple tears of joy smileys. Take that and put it in a tube, and you have Boy Brow. 

Balm Dotcom

A universal skin salve, this is a staple to any beauty bag, purse, desk, or medicine cabinet. You can use it as a chapstick, hand cream, for dry skin, taming flyways, etc. The original is key, but my heart lies with Coconut and Cherry. The coconut balm is an unparalleled scent. I've been caught at work dabbing a bit inside my nose when I am piled under paperwork, dreaming of a vacation. Cherry is ESSENTIAL to that whole "model off duty look". Not only does it taste like a popsicle, but it gives yo lips the most perfect pouty-red stain. Maybe it's Ice Pops, maybe it's Glossier. I like to keep them guessing. 

Stretch Concealer

I don't care if I sleep 12 hours (what are Sundays for???) or two, I always have under-eye circles as dark as Voldemort's soul. Most concealers just lay on top and look like they're there, you know? I typically use this one from Nars, but stretch is perfect when I don't need so much coverage, but still want to be covered. That will only make sense when you try it- It's creamy, dewy, and never cakey. A natural finish that actually covers? Sign a sister up. 

Generation G Lip Colors

I typically don't wear lipstick, mostly because I'm sloppy and am always touching my face. I wore red lipstick on an interview once and walked out looking like the Joker after nervously touching my face the whole time. So as a result, when I wanted color, I started to apply a little lipstick to the middle of my lips, then blotting outwards. Gen G looks like that technique, without all the work. I've tried each color, but my must-haves are Cake, and Jam. Cake for enhancing natural color, Jam for that ideal "blended lipstick" look. Lately, I dab some Jam on my fingers and apply to cheeks. Jam over Haloscope? Trust me- it's the makeup of your dreams. 

                                                                    Gen-G shown left.

                                                                    Gen-G shown left.

Milky Jelly Cleanser

I used Milky Jelly for about two weeks before I had an allergic reaction to it- I'm allergic to mushrooms and there's some ingredient in there that has traces of it. But I will say, I loved the texture of the soap and the way it left my face- matte but not tight. So now basically mushrooms have not only ruined my pizza, but also my face wash dreams. 

Mega Greens Galaxy Pack

Do you ever do a juice cleanse, and you are feeling so pure and Fleek as a mother? Do you have any idea what I just said? Me either. But the point is, you feel GOOD after a little cleanse. That's what this mask is, but for your face. I do it when I'm feeling grimey and feel like my skin needs a fresh start. It does bring everything to the surface, but follow it with the moon mask and you've got the dream team of skin love. 

Pink Pouches

Every order comes in a Glossier signature Pink Pouch. I use them in my tote bag, purse, packing for vacation, even as a clutch when I go out. I have quite a few just from my orders, but they can be ordered in a 3-pack too if you can't wait. 

                                                                                           Pink Pouch in action

                                                                                           Pink Pouch in action

Here's the thing: we buy product after product hoping to achieve something- brighter skin, a more even complexion, makeup that's flawless. All these things have one thing in common- they make us feel better about ourselves. And that's not shallow- that's human nature. I can honestly say that since finding Glossier, I have never felt more naturally beautiful, or more comfortable in my own skin, and I truly believe everyone deserves to feel that way.

...Because I think so, here's 20% off to try it out-just follow this link to their site. And if you have any questions before you buy, email me! I've tried it all-I've got your back. 

I'll admit: I've spend nights looking in the mirror crying over my imperfect skin, not wanting to go out because of bad makeup and an even worse complexion. Glossier has created the simpliest makeup routine I have ever had, and I actually get excited to do it every day. My favorite part about this brand is that it's not exclusive to those with good skin ALREADY. Instead, their products start with improving your skin, and work up. 

These are more than just beauty products, they're a force of beauty, a representation of badass girls everywhere getting sh!% done, and I am proud to be a part of that gang. Try even one thing, and change the way you see beauty, and the way you see yourself, too. 

 

Friday Finds

 

I love a good find, but what I love even more is sharing it with everyone I know. When I find something new, I want to tell my girlfriends, my mother, my sister, even my mailwoman (she complimented me on a vintage Prada sweater once. I SEE YOU RHONDA). 

With Spring finally on the horizon, it was time for a product reboot. Check out my best finds below! 

 

1) Stella McCartney Pop! 

When the seasons change, I love to switch up my scent. In reality, I'll create any logic to make a trip to the beauty counter. BEING BEAUTIFUL AND SMELLING GOOD IS HARD WORK. I am typically drawn to floral and vanilla undertones, but don't like smelling like a funeral home threw up on me (IMO, funerals should be filled with pugs and bottles of Veuve instead). Stella McCartney's newest fragrance, Pop, is perfectly feminine, but not too sweet or fruity. With a delicious mixture of tuberose and sandalwood, this scent screams Spring. 

 

2) NARS Velvet Matte Tinted Moisturizer 

I am horrible at doing makeup. If I ever do a makeup tutorial, just shut down this site. That being said, I am always looking for shortcuts to look ~*FlAwLeSs*~. I was looking to take a break from my beloved mineral powder (it's not you, it's my skin of a pubescent teen), when I stumbled upon this miracle product. NARS has taken tinted moisturizer, and given it velvety smooth, matte coverage. A monkey could apply this beautifully, and trust me, I'm not far off. In just a few seconds, you have light, yet substantial coverage that stays matte, never shiny.  I know, every makeup brand claims to create "that glow!!". I've tried them all- this is the real deal

Tip from the counter: use your ring finger to blend!

 

3) NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer 

I have used the same concealer for YEARS, but lately I have been craving something with a little more natural coverage. Once I had the matte tinted moisturizer, my new beauty BFF* at the Nordstrom Nars counter suggested I stay in the family . After using this, I can only assume 50 Cent's "Magic Stick" is about this concealer. Impossibly creamy and natural, it goes on like a dream and instead of hiding your skin, highlights it beautifully while covering up everything from dark circles to acne scars. 

* I assume we are BFFs because we traded favorite moments from the Celine Dion LIVE! In Vegas DVD. 

 

4) Mario Badescu Silver Powder 

When I was 14, everyone said that acne and blackheads were just part of puberty. I am 99.9% sure I'm past that stage, yet I still have them. Hello, God? It's me, BLACKHEADS. However, I may have found the holy grail of busting these bad boys. I knew it was good when my sister, who doesn't even know what an eyelash curler is, texted me saying I needed to run out and get this ASAP. I applied the powder with a damp cotton ball, left it on for 10 minutes and then removed with my toner. The results were truly UNREAL. Blackheads completely out of sight. Use it once a week and say Sayonara to those suckers.

FIND IT: I surprisingly found Silver Powder at Urban Outfitters, hidden behind the flower crowns and overalls I had in second grade. 

 

5) Graphique Note Cards

When a trip to Marshall's for dish cloths turned into an all-out bender, I found myself in my favorite aisle- stationary. Another notepad to write my lists in? OBVIOUSLY. A journal with an inspirational quote on it? I feel like a better person already!! One thing, however, that has always proved to be a useful purchase, is thank you's and notecards. Thank you notes are the most underrated pastime. There is nothing classier or more chic than throwing a note in the mail to express your gratitude for a gift, a favor, or even just dropping in to say hello. I love to have personalized ones on deck, but stores like Marshall's always have the best inexpensive options when you need to send a quick note. Also it is probably worth noting that last year, I stockpiled Harry Potter stamps and now need an excuse to use them. 

 

Have you tried any of these products, or have any new favorites of your own? Please share below, because I haven't been to the mall in exactly 78 hours and I'm developing a twitch. If not, just leave the number of a good therapist.  

Boy Brow: The Review

Have you ever noticed in shampoo commercials, how the girl whose life has been "changed" by said shampoo, ALREADY has great hair? Or in makeup ads, the model coincidentally already has perfect skin? Or even in cruise ship commercials. It's always a slender, good looking family. Never who you really see, which is usually some kid eating his boogers, hogging the ice cream machine while mom is checking-in on Facebook (LUV THE SUN!!-Karen). 

My point is, we have constantly been mislead by marketing messages for "miracle products", so as consumers, we are understandably jaded. That's why I was skeptical when Glossier's Boy Brow was first launched. Of course it was a great product, but probably only for girls who already have great brows, right? 

I've been an avid follower of Into The Gloss and Glossier products for a while now. Having been burned by multiple pencils, waxes and tints, I didn't jump on the bandwagon right away. My wounds were still fresh. Dark pencil still lingered under my fingernails for God's sake. 

After a few weeks of soul/brow searching, I finally caved and ordered a tube. I knew when it hit my mailbox because I could hear the faint sound of angels singing outside my front door. They knew the miracle, the resurrection, that was about to take place. 

From the first swipe, I could tell Boy Brow was the real deal. The gel-like formula  somehow picked up every little brow hair to form a fuller, more natural shape- even on my scarce brows. Not sticky, stiff, or harsh, just perfectly messy and effortless. I knew I had been saved. 

Unlike pencils, it's almost impossible to mess up the application of Boy Brow. The tapered brush is a dream for precision. A few small, short, upward strokes and E! might even give you your own TV show (I'm assuming that's the way the Kardashians got one. Great brows=good* TV). 

 

THE GOOD NEWS: This is the holy grail of brow product, and since Glossier gave me the gift of getting my brows back, I'm giving you a gift! Use this link for 20% off your first order. 

THE BAD NEWS: If your shade is brown, like mine, or black, IT'S SOLD OUT RIGHT NOW. You'll have to sign up for an alert for when it's back in stock, which is said to be next month. Blondies, go fourth.  

 

So here we are: My brow history has been told. Pictures that can't be unseen, have been shared. And in the end, Boy Brow is the equivalent of the White Horse, and I am riding off into the sunset with my bad @$$ brows. 

*good is an over-statement and completely subjective. 

Xx

A Tale of Two Eyebrows: My Journey to Brow Peace.

We all go through stages in life. Puberty, first relationships, bad haircuts-the stuff they warn us about. However, in my 24 years of life, no one ever warned me about the emotional turmoil that comes with having eyebrows. 

I had good eyebrows. They were thick and untamed and unruly, and in sixth grade, that was unacceptable. So I let my friends pluck them all off at a sleepover into thin, perfect lines. I felt chic! I felt cool! WHAT A FOOL I WAS. My girlfriends told me they would grow back anyway. Then probably something about an Abercrombie sale ($5 off jeans!? MOM!!!) Spoiler alert: they did not grow back. Not even close.  

When big, dark brows came back into style, I became obsessed. I wanted those thick, gorgeous, Audrey Hepburn, Lily Collins brows so badly. This is now what I refer to as "Dark Times". 

It started out innocently enough, a little pencil on my sixth-grade mistakes here and there. But it wasn't enough. I started filling them in darker and darker. And you wanna know what? I.Loved.It. I felt sexy, fashionable, and on-trend with my new Groucho Marx brows. I filled them in with pride and basked in their perfect shape. This was my time, baby. 

"What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" does NOT apply to eyebrows. They should really put that on their signage.

 

However, it all soon started to crumble. It began with a friend of mine, breaking the truth to me. That my brows were just too dark and too big and they were too much for my face. I was 100% in denial. I cried my eyes out. I could not accept what my girlfriend had said, and I could feel that naive, 12-year-old girl that was dying to fit in, oozing out of me. 

I still continued filling in my brows, a little less, but I made up for it in shape. BOOYY DID I MAKE UP FOR IT. My lines were so sharp they could kill a man. I was FLEEK AF. In my state of brow-bliss, I went to to see my enabler (my eyebrow girl), who had originally tinted my brows and who I can probably credit with the beginning of this madness. 

When I went to make an appointment, I was informed that my then brow-guru had left the state (probably to enter the witness brow-tection program. Puns make it hurt less). I felt lost and alone. Who would define and defend my eyebrows now?

Enter Sonya- Father, Son and Holy Spirit of eyebrows. On our very first appointment, she let me down easy like a good therapist. My perfectly drawn, carefully crafted eyebrows were stealing the spotlight from every other feature I have. We never tinted them again, used brow wax matching my natural shade, and only filled in the scarce spots. I felt more natural, but more fashionable than ever. 

Moments after my brow-rescue with Sonya. Next LinkedIn photo for SURE.  

I'm not mad at myself. Not even embarrassed. We all go through beauty blunders- all that matters is if it makes you happy at the time. No one can tell you how you should look. I needed to go through my brow-tastrophe. Not even my closest friend could tell me what's up (BROWS, GET IT?!), I needed to figure it out for myself. 

In my next post, I'll let you guys in on what I think- no, know, is the holy grail of brow product. Even for girls that "don't need brow product" (we can't be friends). For now, learn from my story, tell it to your children. Preferably before they go to sleepovers. 

 

Xx